What I’ve Learnt So Far…

As the weather moves from hiver to printemps (and as I impatiently await the arrival of Chris on Thursday), this week sees me enter my 7th week of living in Lagny-le-Sec. I’ve had so many ups and downs – I’ve been thrown in at the deep end and I’ve been homesick more than I ever imagined I would be – but I’ve also made some amazing new friends, seen the sights of Paris and found a family who will always make me feel welcome. I thought this would be a lovely time to have a quick look back at some of the useless things I’ve learnt about France since I’ve been here – some will make you really glad you’re at home, but some might just make you want to catch the next boat across the Channel…

  • It’s essential, especially at night, to watch where you step if you live with kids – unless you want to fall down the stairs at the fault of a Playmobil sailor or the stray wing of an aeroplane that is.
  • It’s ok to eat 5 pain au chocolat, 4 croissants and 2 doughnuts for breakfast.
  • As if by clockwork, children are innately programmed to be at their optimum noise level at 7am. Everyday.
  • It’s not ok to read the newspaper on the train as French law seems to insist that everyone sits staring into space. And certainly don’t make eye contact with another passenger – even if you’re forced to sit knee to knee and nose to nose with them.
  • French pop music is hilarious – I already knew this, but the music channels have now confirmed it as fact.
  • The trains here are actually pretty reliable, and there are always at least 56 carriages to each train so you can actually sit down. There are no regular ticket inspectors, but when they do decide to check tickets at least 12 suited men will descend upon your carriage and check your passes like there’s no tomorrow. Listen up Northern Rail.
  • Baking powder here comes in sachets.
  • It’s best just to accept that the verb ‘râper’ (meaning ‘to grate’) appears on both the bag of Emmental cheese in the fridge and on the packaging for your pedicure implements.
  • I have subconsciously made the decision to dress like a French person. Everyone between the age of 20-25 wears skinny jeans, hi-top trainers and faux-leather jackets.
  • If you don’t own a pair of Beats headphones then there’s no point even listening to your music.
  • Going to the Champs Elysees just to buy some deodorant or a new marker pen is part of everyday life.
  • Crisps don’t come in normal size bags, forcing you to eat a family share-size bag all in one sitting. And they’re usually eaten like a starter – heated up in the oven and served on a plate.
  • I really like being English. I miss things like green fields, park benches and non-exotic woodland animals. Here there are warning signs on the roads not just about deer running out in front of your car, but also wild boars.
  • That all mums are actually Superwoman.
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One response to “What I’ve Learnt So Far…

  1. That’s right, I was always the only one reading a book in the train… And people rapping in French on the radio are absolutely ridiculous. Paris is great though. Oh, and the crêperies!

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